Music Lists 2018

5 min readDec 31, 2018


Music doesn’t feel exciting anymore. It’s passive consumption in an era of participation.We can sing along and dance (if we want to), but we’re not actually involved. Curation is generally the closest a music fan gets to contributing.

Conversely, Netflix recently released an interactive choose-your-own-adventure “movie” version of Black Mirror (WIRED) that I could go down a rabbit hole talking about but won’t because that’s not the point although it is really really really cool. Similar to what fueled last year’s HQ Trivia furor, which I unabashedly continue to play, the new Black Mirror brings me, the viewer, into the movie.

The future of entertainment is audience participation, and music is lagging behind, which is unusual considering that music has effectively functioned as a canary in a coal mine(Forbes) since the turn of the century.

But is music entertainment? Or art? Everything is binary, you know.

It’s easy to get distracted by what’s in front of us. I think the new Black Mirror is transcendent, but will I feel the same way in three weeks? What about this time next year? 10 years?

Since July I’ve been keeping an arbitrary and non-scientific archive of Things We Got Mad About Online. Things like: Nike/Kaepernick, The Space Force, Families separated at the border, Handmaid’s Tale Halloween Costumes, Kanye, The “Caravan” of Migrants, Kevin Hart hosting The Oscars, conversations around “stripper names” and quiiite a bit more.

I thought this project would be funny to unveil, but it’s mostly not. It’s demoralizing and exhausting in aggregate. It’s the same conversation with a different face, and by and large that’s a face of inequity.

It very much seems that everything is important right now, and then it’s not (until it is again).

Music may be lagging behind the trend toward participatory entertainment, but fellas………… let’s just listen for a while.

Here’s music I like from this year + Spotify links. Tried not to overthink.



(Could’ve listed 100 but nobody wants that… so here’s a playlist,)

(25) Mitski — Remember My Name
(24) MGMT — Little Dark Age
(23) Courtney Barnett — Charity
(22) Northern National — Slow Down
(21) Pusha T — The Story of Adidon
(20) Choker — Daisy
(19) Mac Miller — Self Care
(18) JID — 151 Rum
(17) Snail Mail — Heat Wave
(15) Empress Of — I Don’t Even Smoke Weed
(14) Madame Gandhi — Bad Habits
(13) Mimicking Birds — Great Wave
(12) Kanye West — I Thought About Killing You
(11) Ariana Grande — God is a woman
(10) KIDS SEE GHOSTS — Reborn
(09) Let’s Eat Grandma — Falling Into Me
(08) Cardi B — I Like It (ft. Bad Bunny, J Balvin)
(07) Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever — Mainland
(06) BØRNS — Second Night Of Summer
(05) Superorganism — Everybody Wants To Be Famous
(04) Anderson .Paak — 6 Summers
(03) Ariana Grande — thank u, next
(02) The 1975 — Love It If We Made It
(01) Janelle Monáe — Screwed (ft. Zoë Kravitz)

I intentionally isolated myself this year to find some kind of inner peace and it was brutal (and didn’t really work lol). But now I’m stronger and know what matters to me. And I’m in New York!

2018 has been truly grueling, and I am incredibly grateful for the support of my family and friends who I didn’t realize I need as much as I do. It’s easy to take constants for granted, especially relationships and health. If I’ve learned anything this year it’s that the only way forward is positivity and persistence. Whatever lies ahead, I’m excited.

PS- Send some recs, tell me why I’m wrong, etc.